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Your Listening test isn’t just a mandatory section of your overall IELTS test to get through, an essential life skill is being evaluated here!  The IELTS Listening test, for both General Training and Academic, assesses your ability to listen to conversations, understand the ideas shared, follow the narrative and draw conclusions on them. 

Listening skills are the foundation of succeeding in both the workplace and the university campus and should be consistently mastered throughout your life. 

It forms the foundation of developing yourself into a more attentive student, a better business negotiator and overall, a more empathetic individual. 

In this article, we will go through what the IELTS Listening test evaluates and why listening skills are essential for your future career success!

Four core skills being tested in the Listening test

1. Your ability to follow conversations

Listening is easy but effectively following conversations isn’t that easy. The Listening test will feature two recordings that are conversations between:

  • Two people in an everyday social context

  • A group of four people set in an educational or training context

The difficulty here is to make out what each individual is talking about, their motivations, opinions and general attitudes when it comes to the topic and ideas being discussed.

2. The ability to understand and discern monologues

Monologues are often hard to follow and are a challenge to anyone’s attention. Details can be easily missed and losing the point is something that commonly happens if you aren’t used to hearing monologues.

The test will evaluate how well you can understand the main points being shared and if you follow the development of the ideas being showcased.

3. Your ability to retain information and digest factual details

Listening is not enough to score, you’ll also have to retain and process key information. During the test, there will be a whole host of factual details sprinkled throughout the conversations and monologues.

You will need to listen carefully in detail to effectively answer a variety of questions that can range from multiple choice to matching facts and diagram labelling.

4. The ability to draw conclusions from information gathered

One of the biggest challenges of the Listening test is drawing conclusions fast from the information you are taking in.

Because you can only hear the recording once, you will need to process the opinions, facts and attitudes of the speakers all at once. This is necessary, especially to complete key tasks such as summary completion.

Test taker taking notes from a smartphone

How Listening skills helps you in your career and educational journey

1. Helps you remember and analyze verbal information better

Whether you are attending a course lecture or a business conference, you will be exposed to a myriad of facts, opinions and narratives.

Listening skills will allow you to effectively follow the conversation and analyse the information on the go while you listen.

2. Allows you to holistically assess information to pass better judgement

The ability to assess information for better judgement is crucial in both the business and academic world. It helps you to become an effective communicator in the classroom as well as a fluid negotiator in the boardroom.

There will often be little time for you to privately draw conclusions, good listening skills allow you to simultaneously listen and pick apart arguments to come out with good answers and solutions.

3. Helps reduce conflict while increasing empathy

There will be times when disagreements and arguments can happen between team members or colleagues.

Effective listening skills allow you to be objective and cut through the tensed emotions to really determine right from wrong. It also allows you to come up with the most empathetic solution where both parties can benefit or at least mitigate further disagreements.

4. Allows you to objectively take in different viewpoints without bias

Often, every conversation or monologue will contain bias or a leaning towards a certain point of view.

Solid listening skills help you to swiftly identify the opinions and attitudes of the speakers, allowing you to quickly discern facts from potential viewpoints that aren’t rooted in fact.

5. Increases your overall productivity and reliability

Good listening skills allow you to be a really effective team player. In university and in the office, deadlines are really important, with consequences tied to them.

The ability to effectively take in and process verbal information quickly makes you more productive and overall, a more reliable employee or student people can trust to get the job done.

ielts test taker preapring for the Listening test

Prepare for the IELTS Listening test with IDP today

Preparing early for your Listening test is crucial. It allows you to get familiar with the format to help you ace it for the band score you desire! 

Take the time to go through our resources and prepare yourself better with our wide range of sample tests at your disposal! 

Check out our IELTS preparation materials here.